Two of Google’s main focuses, AI and “the next billion users,” are coming together, as the company announced the upcoming availability of Assistant in Hindi.
Google thinks that its growth in the coming years will be coming from the people who are just getting online for the first time, often thanks to affordable smartphones powered by Android. Hundreds of millions of those users live in India, a market that Google has singled out as a major focus for all of its initiatives.
That’s why the next language supported by Assistant, Google’s AI-powered virtual assistant, will be Hindi.
Hindi is the fourth most used language in the world and Google thinks that supporting it in Assistant will help boost the adoption of Allo, its new messaging app. Allo allows users to invoke Assistant in their chats and ask it questions like “how’s the weather” and many others.
A “preview” version of Assistant in Hindi will be made available by the end of the year, Google said. Users will be able to converse with Assistant in English and Hindi and quickly switch between the languages.
Caesar Sengupta, Google’s VP of product management, used the occasion to plug Duo. The executive said Duo has seen “amazing uptake” in India, a market where Google is working with companies including Micromax to pre-load Duo on their devices.